30 C
Brunei
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
30 C
Brunei
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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    Womens role, empowerment in economy recognised at APEC forum

    The APEC Women and the Economy Forum (WEF) convened on Wednesday in a hybrid format, with some participants present physically, in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The Forum was chaired by Minister of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand Chuti Krairiksh.

    Brunei Darussalam was represented by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Mohammad Harris bin Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim.

    Themed ‘Ensuring Women’s Economic Empowerment’, discussions focussed on how women’s economic empowerment can contribute to the implementation of APEC’s Putrajaya Vision 2040, including through its Aotearoa Plan of Action and the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth (2019-2030).

    Attendees also exchanged views on how women can play a greater role in supporting more inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic development and well-being, and build resilience against future shocks.

    Economies generally expressed commitment to tackle gender inequality and promote greater access to STEM education.

    Deputy Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Mohammad Harris bin Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim speaks at the forum. PHOTO: MOFE

    In his opening remarks, Chuti Krairiksh reiterated that women’s economic empowerment can help achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability.

    He stated that gender perspective must be mainstreamed into policies and highlighted the importance of collaboration and networking to strengthen the work on promoting women’s economic empowerment.

    A keynote address was also delivered by former prime minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva in which he underscored the importance for pandemic recovery efforts to be inclusive and sustainable that enables women’s economic empowerment.

    He emphasised the importance for APEC economies to work together and adopt policies that support women’s economic empowerment as well as look at new growth areas such as the bio-circular green (BCG) economy and enhancing digital skills.

    Mohammad Harris delivered a statement which recognised that women play a role in addressing climate change, including through the BCG economy model.

    He appreciated the need to promote gender responsive policies towards fostering women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and reaffirmed Brunei Darussalam’s position on advocating equal opportunities for women’s education and employment as well as carrying out domestic initiatives to inspire and empower women entrepreneurship.

    In touching upon Brunei Darussalam’s goals under its Digital Economy Masterplan 2025, he expressed the Sultanate’s advocacy for enhanced digital literacy and integration through a whole of community approach.

    The forum was also briefed by Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat Tan Sri Datuk Dr Rebecca Sta Maria on APEC’s work to support women’s economic empowerment in the region.

    This was followed by updates from Co-Chair of ABAC MSME and Inclusiveness Working Group, and ABAC Brunei member, Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii on ABAC’s 2022 work programme and ABAC’s recommendations which included the call for APEC Economies to develop legal and regulatory infrastructure, put in place policies and agreements to simplify cross-border e-commerce for women-owned businesses and accelerate efforts towards attaining a regional digital trade/e-commerce agreement to harmonise rules across all APEC markets that will ease of doing business.

    At the end of the meeting, Thailand issued the Women Economic Forum: High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy Statement of the Chair.

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